by Bill Storie
The older I get the more I realize that there are certain things in life that will happen regardless of what I do. Health issues can be mitigated to a certain extent of course, perhaps a great extent, but some functions are a bit slower than years ago.
So, if I accept that age creeps along like “ole man river” in any event, then why should I be concerned about my actual age in numbers.?
I never did spend much time thinking about birthdays throughout my life – either my own, or other people’s (which has got me in lots of hot water many times !!). To me a birthday is just another day in the calendar and the year was just another day on the journey of life. What difference did it make if I was 37 or 38, or 58?
I think people make too much of this age thing to be honest. I am much more inclined to accept that I am indeed getting older on the one hand, but to think more about my temperament and attitude and hopefully, my positive thinking on the other hand.
The simple fact is that you cannot turn the clock back and be 23 again. You can remember what it was like certainly, but you can’t go back and live it again. So, why get fussed about it? Get on with your life as it is today. If you are 68, then you are 68. End of.
I have to say that living in today’s world of technology is probably the best era for retirees that mankind has ever experienced.
We can surf and turf until we’re sound asleep. (i.e. surf websites for information then turf out the rubbish). We have never had such ability to be right inside breaking news stories for example – be they good, or bad, or “sacre bleu, c’est incroyable”
We can see videos and photos of events from the other side of the world. We can converse with people we would otherwise never have met. We can experience another country or culture from our sofa at home and never feel isolated.
This marvelous experience must surely be contrasted to life in retirement in say the 1950s or before. Get the gold watch and the leaving party. Promises to stay in touch. Enjoy your cruise….. then wham !!!!!! Never to be seen or heard of again.
Back then the retiree really had to work very hard to stay in touch with the world – outside of their local village. Even getting on the local bus to go town was a challenge in those days. Meeting people was a mountain to climb, other than those in the same street.
Is it any wonder that the retiree’s expectation of longevity was rarely discussed? Of course, health management has improved dramatically as well, but the mindset of the retiree today compared to the mindset of the retiree then is so vastly different. Back then, people literally thought they were old … and acted accordingly. There was little motivation to keep active, far less productive. In many cases, retirees then believed they were in God’s waiting room. Sad, but true.
Nowadays, the retiree has untold opportunities to experience and enjoy this third part of their journey in life. (Childhood > Adulthood > Olderhood).
In fact, the wise retiree these days barely has time, far less inclination, to even remember what number they are at. You can think old if you wish, but act young, and live happily.
The changes you have experienced as you crossed the retirement threshold (or will cross if you are still working) are real and won’t fade away – but those changes can be just as easily the good type of change than the bad.
Stop counting, start living.
By Bill Storie